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Newspaper Layout Copyright



6:10 am on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have seen many many newspapers, all of which have very similar layouts.

I am wondering if 1 company is laying claim that they have a unique designed layout for their weekly publication.

Another company that has a very similar layout for their weekly publication, same sort of content .. horoscopes, funny things, etc ... would this be a breach in copyright?

[edited by: caine at 1:51 am (utc) on Mar 11, 2010]
[edit reason] urls, against TOS. [/edit]


8:36 am on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Having looked at your theoretical examples before they get delinked, I really doubt that there are grounds for complaint from either party. Both are three column pages; both use the outer columns for ads and the inner one for content. That's about as far as the similarities go.

The fonts and pt size are not the same, and neither are the content sections. Ad layouts are also different - both have stylings that are unique. Each uses a stylised form of subhead that is not replicated by the other.

I would say that one may have been rather closely inspired by the other, but that's all.

And welcome to the fora, MrBafner.


10:50 am on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think that you are wanting to refer to is called "trade dress" and not copyright.

You could speak to an attorney but I'd agree that you have not got an actionable claim on either.


11:57 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks guys,
One of the company's "coffee news" sell franchises and lay claim that they are "unique designed".

I wondered how they can claim unique designed layout as if they are laying claim to some sort of copyright.

After doing a search, there are similar publications that look the same and doubted if they could lay claim to copyright in the printed publication.


12:06 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

All this falls into the "look and feel" lawsuits which have been around for a coon's age. Most fail in the long run.


12:16 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Using the examples given, I'd sincerely doubt that any claim based on Trade Dress (USA) or Passing Off (UK) would have a leg to stand on!

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